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North Shore Free Pie Day: Kiwi bakery gives Toronto a taste of New Zealand

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Our Challenge


In January 2017, North Shore Pie Co closed down their Leaside location and opened a warehouse facility in Etobicoke. The new facility was set to operate alongside their flagship bakery in Roncesvalles. But with the business from Leaside gone, North Shore’s Roncesvalles store needed an extra push to maintain sales from residents in the Toronto core. To help the Roncesvalle bakery become the number one pie shop for Toronto residents, On Q Communications strategized, created and executed one of the biggest foodie events of the summer: Free Pie Day.

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  • Create a one-time event that would interest media, community members and tourists. The event was called Free Pie Day.

  • Promote the event via traditional and new age marketing tactics including media relations, mailers, digital ads, influencers and event listing websites

  • Media train lead spokesperson to ensure that key messages regarding the event and the bakery were continually met

  • Centralize media efforts on pre-coverage and post-coverage, leveraging the authenticity of North Shore’s owner, Anthony Spinley

  • Develop enticing pitches, media alerts and television segments to secure coverage on CP24, Toronto Sun, Inside Toronto and more

  • Engage top foodie influencers in the city to promote the event

  • Conduct a Pie Eating Contest to serve as a media draw and a draw for participants

  • Invite top city officials to show support of local businesses, as well as the kiwi community

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Bragging Rights


  • Generated 4 million impressions with coverage with pre-event and post-event coverage, boosting North Shore Pie Co’s presence and positioning them as the go-to place for kiwi made pies

  • Over 700 community residents attended, enabling North Shore to increase their sales by 300% and meet new customers located in the immediate area

  • Successfully have city officials attend the event, including the Deputy Mayor of Toronto.

  • Through influencer relations, North Shore Pie Co developed strong relationships with key food influencers throughout the city including @TheEverydayFoodie, @tastethesixto, @ChewToronto, @HangryFoodies and who have visited the restaurant several times.

  • Secured television coverage on CP24 Breakfast, print coverage in Toronto Sun, and digital coverage in Blog TO, Daily Hive, Inside Toronto and more.

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“On Q communications got us featured on CP24 breakfast, blog TO and various other articles.
Not only do they believe in the brands they promote,
but are very understanding with all aspects of their clients business.
They push the brands with integrity and have the right contacts.
They are a winning team with winning results.”
– Anthony Spinley.
North Shore Pie Co.

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